Ozwell E. Spencer

Spencer was born of noble birth in 1931. His background remains largely unknown but he is of European origin and possibly English. As he grew up he became facinated with the evolution of mankind and the notion of discovery. Using his vast wealth he acquired a rare copy of Henry Travis's famed 'Survey of Natural History'; an extensive set of 72 scientific journals documenting the flora and fauna of Africa. In it he read about the Ndipaya people and their worship of the flower 'Stairway to the Sun'. This flower was described as enhancing the natural ability of certain individuals and Spencer saw a potential in this plant that could have profound implications for the future of man.

He shared this hypothesis with his good friend and fellow scientist Edward Ashford. They also enlisted the help of prominent virology expert James Marcus and his student protoge Brandon Bailey. By this time, Spencer had also hired famed New York architect George Trevor to design and construct a mansion in the deep recesses of Raccoon Forest. Spencer insisted the mansion be outfitted with all kinds of secret rooms and traps and told Trevor that money was not an issue. Trevor overlooked this unusual requests and saw it as a challenge and informed Spencer that it would take him five years to build.

As Marcus, Spencer and Ashford theorized some more, they began to see a truth behind Spencer's ideas. Initially they believed his claims about the Stairway to the Sun to be nothing but rumour but Marcus himself had already concluded that the possibility of a virus having the ability to alter DNA did likely exist and was waiting out there in the natural world to be discovered. They decided to plan an epedition to Africa to try and recover this flower and on December 4th 1966, they finally discovered the Progenitor Virus.

Although Marcus inpaticular seemed full of wonderment for the properties the virus contained, Spencer gave the impression to his colleagues that the virus would make them all rich beyond their wildest dreams. This impression dissappointed Marcus and he appeared angry at Spencer's apparant lack of understanding at their discovery. However, this feigned ignorance was precisely what Spencer had wanted. This charade was further played out when Spencer told them he wanted to form his own pharmaceutical company. To the others, it appeared all he wanted out of this was money.

The Progenitor Virus only reinforced Spencer's secret belief that the future evolution of the human race could be artificially sped up by the forced use of viruses. Now he needed to unlock the secrets of Progenitor so he could test out this claim.

In 1967, a few months after the completion of the Spencer Mansion in Raccoon Forest, Spencer invited architect George Trevor and his family over to stay, intending them to be the first human experiments with the Progenitor Virus. Trevor's wife Jessica, and their daughter Lisa were administered differing strains of the virus. Jessica's body couldn't cope with it and she was disposed of. Lisa however, absorbed the virus and remained alive.

A few days later, George Trevor himself arrived at the estate. Spencer told him his family had to leave as a relative had taken ill. He informed him of his vision to create a grand pharmaceutical enterprise which he would name Umbrella. He wanted to use the mansion as a guesthouse and summer retreat for company VIPs.

Trevor himself was later captured and taken down to the labs. However, with Lisa reacting positively to Progenitor, there was no need to inject Trevor. Spencer instead decided to play a twisted little game and allowed Trevor to escape his cell. This was designed to test out the security of the mansion and although Trevor was hiding out for days, Spencer had ensured there was only one place he could possibly end up and so he had a custom gravestone made up bearing Trevor's own name, waiting for him at the end of the trail. Sure enough, Trevor's body was found by his makeshift grave and he was disposed of on November 30th 1967.

In March 1968 Umbrella was formed yet a few months later Edward Ashford died in a laboratory accident involving the Progenitor Virus. His death sparked the first thoughts within Spencer of him one day taking total control of the company. But he still had James Marcus to contend with. Marcus had recently requested to head back to Africa to gather more samples after it had earlier emerged that the flowers they had originally brought back to America did not contain the virus. Spencer had already authorised the release of funds to begin construction of Umbrella Africa and try to forcibly remove the Ndipaya from their lands, but at the last second he requested that Marcus remain in Raccoon City where he could keep a close eye on his rival. Spencer disguised this act by offering Marcus the positon of Director at the new student Training Facility in Raccoon Forest where he was promised state of the art research facilities. To the delight of Spencer, Marcus accepted.

In June of 1969, Umbrella Africa was completed and a regular supply of Progenitor was available.

By this point, Spencer had turned his attentions back to his own personal plans, away from Umbrella. He had envisions of creating a new race of advanced human beings upon which he would rule over as a type of 'God'. This new race would be given birth to by the Progenitor Virus. He devised a secret plan with a trusted researcher in which a group of gifted children would be selected from across the world. They would then be programmed, subliminally with Spencer's values and traits before being sent out again to acquire the best educations in their chosen fields. There they would be watched carefully by Umbrella from a far, until they were ready for the next part of the test. This plan was called 'The Wesker Plan' or 'Project W', named after the researcher assisting Spencer. This plan was highly classfied and neither Marcus or the other higher-ups of the company were ever made aware of it.

One of these children, was named Albert.

Throughout the 1970's, Spencer became distracted by acting out this plan, whilst James Marcus' personal research at the training school was coming on leaps and bounds. Their relationship had deteriorated over the last few years. With Spencer acquiring Ashford's share of the company following his death, Marcus was perfectly aware of what he was up to and knew he had to come up with something to stop Spencer from taking total control of Umbrella. By January 1978 he had the perfect thing not just to stop Spencer but possibly overthrow him for good; the T-Virus.

By this point, Project W test subject 13 - Albert Wesker, had enrolled at the training school and he along with fellow student genius William Birkin were making secret reports about Marcus to Spencer. He was alarmed by these reports; students going missing, Marcus spending so much time locked away in his labs. Spencer knew that Marcus could be a major stumbling block to him achieving his goals and knew he had to act.

When Marcus announced the creation of the T-Virus in the summer of 1978, Spencer used the evidence provided by Wesker and Birkin to forcibly remove him from power. Damning evidence showing that Marcus had used illegal human testing on company students for his research was enough to get rid of him once and for all. As a bonus, the T-Virus proved to be a groundbreaking discovery and Spencer had all of Marcus' research transferred across to the Arklay Labs where it was placed under the guidance of new chief researchers Albert Wesker and William Birkin.

Over the next few years, Spencer wanted the T-Virus to create the ultimate human biological weapon and the virus itself to have a success rate of 100%. However, this proved impossible as Birkin and Wesker concluded that no amount of experimentation could get past a 10% natural immunity capacity. This was enough for Spencer to deem the T-Virus not good enough to create a weapon that would infect an entire populace - a weapon he needed if his own personal goal was ever to come to fruition.

In 1988, the Tyrant 001 was created and primary T-Virus research was completed. This allowed Spencer to finally make his move and he aqcuired full control of Umbrella, having Wesker and Birkin assassinate James Marcus to ensure no loose ends were left behind. This was also the year Birkin discovered the G-Virus.

In 1991 he authorised the construction of a giant state of the art research facility to be built underneath Raccoon City and he also approved the G-Virus project. The early nineties was also when Spencer began to visit the Arklay Labs less and less.

During the mid-nineties Umbrella gained a new alley in the form of ex-soviet army colonel, Sergei Vladimir. Sergei joined Umbrella in 1992 and quickly rose up the ranks when it was revealed that he was a genetic match for the Tyrant programme. He became good friends with Spencer and the Umbrella founder was able to trust him implicitly.

By 1995, Spencer no longer visited the Arklay labs and by now had largely removed himself from the day to day running of Umbrella.

When the biohazard occurred at Arklay Labs in the summer of 1998, Spencer was against the destruction of the mansion but realised that Umbrella had little choice if they were to successfully cover up the incident. As operation X-Day was put into place, Spencer saw this as an ideal opportunity to move onto the next stage with his Wesker Children programme. All viable candidates were given an experimental virus that would weed out those unworthy of progressing to the next stage. Albert Wesker was one such candidate, and Spencer issued the virus to William Birkin with strict instructions that he was to pass it onto Wesker. Neither Birkin or Wesker were aware of the virus' true implications at that stage.
Spencer also saw the potential of the T.A.L.O.S. project, a new prototype Tyrant that was currently in development at Arklay. With the mansion due to be destroyed, Spencer called upon the services of Spencer to infiltrate the mansion and retrieve the prototype before the S.T.A.R.S. teams arrived.

Sergei was successful in this mission.

In the aftermath of the incident, Umbrella had seemingly gotten away with it as the biohazard was all covered up and Umbrella's mole in the police, Chief Brian Irons, was successful in preventing the authorities from launching a formal investigation into Umbrella. One setback had been the death of Albert Wesker during the incident. Wesker had been one of the most promising candidates for his programme and so his death was a major hinderance. The head researcher in charge of the project also informed Spencer that the experimental virus they had been using had proved to be a little too selective and had killed off all the other candidates. They were forced to look back at the propositions who didn't even make it to this stage and re-evaluate them. This put the overall sucess of the programme down to 18%. However, Spencer did not seem to downbeat. He had a sneaking suspicion that Albert Wesker was still alive out there somewhere and that one day, when the time was right, he would seek Spencer out once again.

The key turning point for Spencer arrived just a month later with the biological outbreak that engulfed the whole of Raccoon City. This time Spencer knew Umbrella could not get away with things again and so he knew the end had finally come. Despite this, he used his fortune to hire the best lawyers and prepare false witnesses. He knew the best he could hope for was to simply delay Umbrella's demise.

By now, he had more or less removed himself from any responsibility with Umbrella and Sergei Vladimir was placed as the new unofficial head of the company. All remaining key operations were to be transferred to Sergei's base of operations in Russia.

With Umbrella's responsibilities now on the shoulders of Sergei, Spencer focused all his energeies on preserving the secret of the Progenitor Virus. His first order of business was to close down the African research facility and dispose of all the personnel working there. If the location where the Progenitor Virus was produced remained a secret only to him, then he could always start over and rebuild at a later date.

As the new millenium came and went, the court case surrounding Umbrella and the Raccoon City disaster had dragged on and on without conclusion. In 2003 Spencer wrote a letter to shareholders thanking them for their continued support

However, in February of that year, Sergei Vladimir was killed after Albert Wesker had infiltrated his facility and caused a biohazard. He also stole all of Umbrella's archival files and erased all the databases. 40 years worth of viral research was gone, just like that.

Following the incident, Wesker testified anonymously in court, providing undeniable evidence that Spencer and Umbrella were responsible for the Raccoon City tragedy. The FBI then launched a manhunt for Spencer and he was forced to go into hiding. He retreated to his private esatate located somewhere in Europe.

Even alone in isolation, Spencer still bore a cruel streak and still harboured dreams of becoming a god even though his health was failing and his days becoming clearly numbered. In a last throw of the dice, he ordered the man behind 'Project W', Alex Wesker, to use the Progenitor Virus to try and unlock the secret to immortality. Almost 30 years ago, Lisa Trevor became the first human experiment with Progenitor and after years of experimentation she became known as 'the one that would not die' and may believed she couldn't actually die. Spencer in his desperation, was trying to recreate some version of this. He gave Alex and his research team unlimited funding, top-of-the-line equipment, research materials, and and endless supply of test subjects. The only thing Spencer didn't have on his side was time.

He waited and waited and eventually it became clear that he had been betrayed again. Alex had disappeared, along with the last of his money and resources.

In desperation now, Spencer turned to the only person who had not yet deserted him, his faithful butler, Patrick. Patrick administered the Progenitor Virus to guinea pigs they kept under the mansion, yet he was not a man of science and the work proved to be fruitless.

Eventually Spencer cut his losses and turned back to the beginning. Before relieving him of his duties, he had one last task for Patrick; find Albert Wesker.

Once Wesker learned of Spencer's location, he came calling. It was by pure chance that he arrived the very same night as Chris and Jill after they had also been tipped off about Spencer's hideout.

But it was Wesker who got to him first.

Spencer was not surprised to see him, he knew that the subliminal programming implanted into Wesker's mind would have led to him searching him out once more. With Wesker demanding answers, Spencer told him everything. He explained the Wesker Children programme and the use of the Progenitor Virus as a tool for natural selection and how he would have created a race of advanced human beings over which he would rule over as a God.

Enraged at the secret of his childhood and the fact that Spencer was still so arrogant about it in his old age, Wesker mercilessly killed him.

 



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